Obesity and mental illness cause constant struggle in the life of Dolores Price, and social and behavioral aspects of family, social network, socioeconomic status and behavior change play vital roles in the health issues that she endure. She's Come Undone follows Dolores and her struggles with health and behavior problems from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood. We first meet Dolores as a happy, care-free child, but when her father leaves Dolores and her mother unexpectedly her life becomes a downward spiral of anger and depression. Comforting herself with binge eating, television and smoking after being sexually abused by a neighbor, Dolores constantly rejects her mother and grandmother's love and nurture and struggles with the social and behavioral hardships of obesity and mental health illness. When Dolores ultimately suffers from a mental breakdown, she slowly begins to change her behavior to become improve her physical and mental health status. The function of family is a key role surrounding Dolores's obesity. Family cohesion, family adaptability and family boundaries play vital roles in Dolores's health problems. Dolores has difficulty taking responsibility with her own health, and refuses to see a doctor for a physical required for college entrance. It ultimately takes a forceful act of her mother with "a steak knife in one hand, the hacked off television plug in the other" who will only repair Dolores's beloved television "when and if [you] have a physical" (121). Although Dolores insists that her mother must really hate her for demanding that she get a physical, she is unaware of her mother's and grandmother's function in the family as the once to encourage and provide medical services. The clash between needs of an individual versus the needs of the family also becomes evident during Dolores's physical. While "Ma and Grandma played by the rule: never to mention [her] weight" (123), in fear of throwing off the emotionally fragile...
References: Lamb, Wally She 's Come Undone Washington Square Press 1992
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